Skip to main content

Sandy Journal

Alta defeats Woods Cross with dominant effort on both sides of the ball

Aug 27, 2018 11:30AM ● By Jana Klopsch

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

Any football coach would love to have an offense that puts up over 500 yards or a defense that forces 5 turnovers. On Friday night, the Alta football team did both as they defeated Woods Cross 42-14.

The game started off perfectly for the Hawks as Semisi Tuitahi had a diving interception on the first play of the game, setting the Alta offense up in the red zone for their first possession.

“I read it pretty good,” said Tuitahi after the game.

Semisi Tuitahi makes a diving interception on the first play of the game.

 That interception was just the appetizer in a five-course meal for the Alta defensive backfield.

“Our whole defensive backfield played great,” said Alta defensive coordinator Jim Herman. “Football is old school. It’s about effort, accountability, and guys just working hard, putting the effort in and being in the right place. All credit goes to the kids.”

Not only did the defense record five interceptions, but they also forced two additional turnover on down’s. Many of them occurred when Woods Cross was in scoring territory as well. Tuitahi recorded his second interception of the game on a leaping catch to snatch the ball out of the air before it reached the open arms of a Woods Cross receiver in the end zone.

Kimball Henstrom prevents a long completion by deflecting a Woods Cross pass.

 Meanwhile, the Alta offense continued its efficient and balanced attack from their week 1 victory over Lehi. Senior quarterback Indy Hanson attempted over twice as many throws from his first start to his second start. Yet with the increased volume, he actually increased his efficiency, completing 17 of 26 passes for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 15 times 72 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought the transition from the first to second game was really good. Our offense was more focused. We were more dialed in during practice. We just executed better,” said Hanson.

“I thought there was a lot of growth between week 1 and week 2,” echoed offensive coordinator Riley Jensen. “I’m really proud of Indy Hanson and the growth that’s taken place with him…  I’m telling you, if he gets a full grasp of our offense, we’re going to be scary.”

Indy Hanson dives into the end zone for a touchdown.

 Senior running back Dallin Pan continues to be the offense’s number one weapon. He carried the ball 23 times for 167 yards and a touchdown, but his connection with Hanson in the passing game was equally effective against the Woods Cross defense. Pan led the team in receptions with 5, two of which went for touchdowns. He also exhibited elite ball-catching skills on one play in which he made a fingertip-juggling catch as he tiptoed down the sideline while also eluding a defender.

The dominant play by both the offense and the defense was enough to give Alta a comfortable 28-7 lead at halftime. Touchdown runs by Pan and Gooch Malieitulua in the second half pushed Alta’s lead to 42-7, the same score by which they defeated Woods Cross last year. A late Woods Cross touchdown put an end to that narrative though.

Alta (2-0) will finish off their 3-game “road trip” next week in a tough matchup with East High. Alta and East are ranked 8th and 3rd in the state of Utah respectively, according to


Click here for more photos from the game. 

And follow the Sandy Journal on Facebook to stay connected to all of our Alta football coverage throughout the season.